At Cut, we want every athlete to be able to set a goal and track their progress towards it — which is why we introduced the Cut Combine. You should use the data collected today within every Cut class, showing measured results over time.
The goal of the Cut Combine is to create a starting point — a baseline by which you can measure all future performance. While the seven exercises you tested are, by no means, a comprehensive list of the hundreds of movements we perform in class, they do create a barometer to gauge how hard to push within every Cut station.
We don’t want you to wake up tomorrow morning and completely forget about the numbers you posted here today. “The purpose of the Combine is to get away from just exercising, and gear more towards training,” says coach Marcus. The Combine should be at the forefront of your mind every time you walk into class, so you know exactly which weights to pick up to hit that next goal. Below, we explain how to do just that.
With this Combine completed, set a goal for the next one.
The Combine is not meant to be an isolated event. Instead, we will host one every 3-4 months so you can continuously track your progress.
Translation: You have roughly 90 days to set your goal for the next one.
“Now that you have your starting point, we want you to chat with a coach and set a goal, creating a game plan for how to get better,” says Marcus. If you could do one banded pullup today, see if you can do three. If you could do the shuttle run in 45 seconds, see if you can shave it down to 44.
Remember: The coaches who designed the Combine are the same people who program your training. Therefore, share your goals with your coaches because they are the ones who can show you how to get there. For example:
- If you want to do more pull-ups: If you want to get better at pullups, you can’t skip Back Day. Focus on TRX and/or band exercises to activate the muscles in your back, and set aside time in class to do an unassisted pullup. (Note: Your partner is fine. If you want to try to do two unassisted pullups rather than six with bands, do it — just communicate that with your partner.)
- If you want to throw more power behind the bike: The bike is a power movement. To get more power, you need to build up the posterior chain of your body, never skipping Ass, Hammy, or Back day.
- If you want to get faster in the shuttle run: Everyone loves Heart Day, but many athletes overlook the fact that you need strength in order to get faster — particularly in your hammys, core, and glutes. Focus on strength building and single-leg movements, or take advantage of Clarence’s SAQ (Speed Agility Quickness) series.
How to reframe your training over the next three months
The purpose of the Cut Combine is to track your progress, rather than simply going through the motions each class. “Think of training for the next Combine like you would work for your next promotion,” says Marcus. “If you’re working to get promoted, you don’t just come in and punch a clock.”
If you’ve been coming to Cut for a year or more, yet pick up the same weights or jog at the same pace, we have a problem. Here’s how to break that cycle and come with intention to each class:
1. Slow the fuck down
Again, we all love Heart Day — but not every class is meant to meant to be speed-focused. Take strength days seriously, and stop rushing through the movements. If the word “Heart” is not on the schedule, the way to make your workout harder is to slow down (not speed up) the movement, feeling every single rep.
2. Find out how strong you really are
To lift heavier at the next Combine, you need to get comfortable picking up your goal weight in class. (Side note: No, this won’t cause you to get bulky – we’re not doing one rep maxes anywhere in the schedule.)
One of the confines of Cut is that we push each other to the limit, which sometimes tests our endurance more than our strength. Don’t be afraid to take control of your workout, picking up a heavier weight — even if it means you hit failure. If your goal is to chest press 45 pounds, try picking up those 45s in class. If you can only get to 5-6 reps before tagging out your teammate, that’s fine.
3. Stop cherry-picking the schedule
Again, the same people who designed the Combine also design your training schedule. Therefore, buy into the programming and stop trying to pick and choose which muscle groups to attend.
“Cherry picking the schedule only cherry picks your results,” says Marcus. Purposely skipping muscle groups causes more harm than good — often in ways that few athletes realize. Skipping Abs Day will decrease performance in your agility drills, skipping Back or Glutes Day will prevent you from going further on the sled, and skipping Ass Day will not help your hammy curl.
4. Don’t forget to rest
The Combine is meant to simulate a competition. Therefore, if you entered today’s Combine feeling groggy, hungover, or after attending another workout, that wasn’t a true test of your capabilities.
“Think of your body like a battery,” says Marcus, “and a battery will always need time to recharge.” The Combine only comes once every 3-4 months — meaning, you have just several opportunities within a given year to track your progress. Don’t overtrain, and be sure to enter the next Combine fresh to see how strong, fast, and agile you become.
Avoid these 3 pitfalls when working toward your next goal
At Cut, we praise doing hard shit. We hope you use the data collected today as a means to streamline your training over the next 3-4 months, thereby allowing you to hit your next target.
“Athletes don’t see results when they don’t have a starting point, accountability, or an end goal,” says Marcus. To prevent all of the above, keep the following in mind:
- Use today as your baseline: “Numbers don’t lie, but feelings and emotions do,” says Marcus. Today, you proved just how heavy you can really lift — use that to improve over the next several months.
- Communicate with coaches and teammates: How can we push each other if we don’t know where we’re headed? Communicate your goals with your coach and partner, and ask for a spotter if needed. (We promise, no one gives a flying fuck if you do eight reps instead of 10, particularly if you hit muscle failure.)
- Walk into class with purpose: We understand this city is built on a go-go-go mindset, and some days you will want to come to class just wanting to release some tension. That’s fine. But never forget that you are working toward something, and the payoff, confidence, and sense of accomplishment will be completely worth it three months from now.
You have your baseline — now, you have three months to take it to the next level.
“The Combine is meant to equip athletes with a training focus,” says Marcus. Many times, athletes miss out on the benefits they seek because they don’t understand their own abilities. You tested just how strong and fast you are — information that’s incredibly valuable when you walk into each class.
Over the next quarter of the year, look back on the data you collected to take ownership over your own training. Now that you have a starting point, set a goal to work toward and share that goal with your coaches and teammates. After all, how can we continue to push each other if we don’t know where we’re headed?